The Namaste Prayer


When I spent three weeks traveling around Southern India in January of 2008, I was quickly aculturated to the practice of greeting another person with clasped hands, an inclination of the head, and the word “Namaste.”  While I stayed at the Shanti Ashram, I asked the guru what “Namaste” meant.  She said that it meant that “the divine in me recognizes the divine in you.”  What a beautiful sentiment!  As a baptized Christian, I love the notion that the Holy Spirit that resides in me recognizes the Holy Spirit in you.  With that inspiration, I composed this prayer…

O God without limits,
I met you again today in the woman out for a morning jog.
Then again in the gentleman at the coffee shop.
I went to work, and there you were;
In each and every one of my coworkers peering out.
Just when I thought that I would spend the rest of the day not seeing you again,
You came walking in the door within my spouse.
You melted me with the smile of my child through which you shined.
I never thought I could recognize you in so many vastly different people,
But you surprised me each time.
You were not imprisoned in others;
You were the twinkle in their eye,
The warmth in their smile,
The care in their hands,
The hope in their words,
The divine in their presence.
Open my eyes so that I might recognize you in others,
So that every day I will remember that you are at work in them,
Just as you are in me.
Help me to be kind to those who bear you in this world.
Let me keep from harming your precious vessels.
May we glorify you in all things.

(Image courtesy of

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